21 graduates from Cebu-based schools top September 2023 teachers' board exams

TWENTY-ONE graduates from Cebu-based schools emerged as top performers in the September 2023 Licensure Examination for Professional Teachers (LEPT), both in elementary and secondary levels.

A graduate from the University of the Philippines (UP)-Cebu got the highest rating among the more than 50,000 successful examinees in the secondary level.

UP Cebu’s Trilbe Lizann Espina Vasquez claimed the top spot with a rating of 94.8 percent.

The two other topnotchers in the secondary level are Gian Carlo Teves from Cebu Normal University (CNU), securing the seventh spot (93.4 percent), and Carlo Galicia from the Cebu Institute of Technology-University (CIT-U) who took the tenth place (92.8 percent).

In the elementary level, 18 examinees topped the exam, including graduates from CNU, University of San Jose-Recoletos (USJ-R), Cebu Technological University-Tuburan, CTU-Argao, and CIT-U.

Successful examinees include Marichu Abregana from CTU-Argao (third, 94 percent); Quincey Alje Densing and Vanessa Manatad from CNU and Francheska Therese Fanilag from USJ-R (fourth, 93.8 percent); and Nivea Rose Mendez from CNU (fifth, 93.4 percent).

Placing seventh are Cherry Lambojon and Alnice Payusan from CNU, with a rating of 93.2 percent.

Angela Austria, Angel Mae Cahayagan, Kaye Marie Cañizares, Marjorie Dal-an (CNU), and Merlo Montebon (CTU-Tuburan) placed ninth with a rating of 92.80 percent.

Christine Faith Albiso, Maria Adela Ferrer, Mylene Iligan (CNU) Era Zaira Lizardo, Rhea Pino (CTU-Argao), and Carlo Galicia (CIT-U) all placed 10th with a rating of 92.80 percent.

The Professional Regulation Commission announced on Thursday, Dec. 7, 2023, that out of 95,969 examinees, 53,995 passed the secondary level, while 23,782 out of 50,593 examinees passed the elementary examination.

Topnotchers' preparations

USJ-R's Fanilag and CNU's Mendez shared their experiences and preparations for the exams.

In a press conference at USJ-R main campus in Cebu City, Fanilag said it wasn't in her plan to take the examinations this year.

She said she enrolled in a review center back in April, but with four months to go before the examination, she hesitated to take the LEPT. Fanilag shared that the first day of the review class was the summative exam.

"I took the exam and answered it in the best way I could," Fanilag said.

Fanilag shared that one of the challenges during her preparation was finding ways to stay focused on studying and not ending her day without reading a book or answering a 200-item practice test.

Fr. Antonio Limchaypo, vice president of administration at USJ-R, said the school is happy with Fanilag's achievement.

Limchaypo mentioned there will be adjustments in the incentives given to topnotchers, but it will be a surprise.

CNU's alumnus

CNU's Mendez is the daughter of a public school teacher.

She witnessed her mother's joy each year as her students learned to read, an achievement that inspired Nivea Rose M. Mendez to become a teacher.

Mendez's mother told her how proud she was that at the close of a school year, she had successfully helped a struggling reader advance to a higher reading level.

The happiness and pride evident on her mother's face during that moment left an indelible mark on Mendez, inspiring her to follow her mother's footsteps.

Mendez shared that while she was at a fast-food restaurant in Cebu City buying food, a classmate messaged her about passing the board exam. She vividly remembered being at the counter waiting for her order when she received the message, causing her to burst into tears as she realized she was still inside the restaurant. She reflected on feeling blessed and attributing her success to a higher power in that emotional moment.


To future teachers, Mendez shared her personal formula for preparing for the exam: Establish purpose and goal; self-discipline; kindness to self; and prayer.

Mendez said teachers who passed the board exams must be employed because they have lessons to impart to the young Filipinos.

“To be honest, most schools are in need of teachers. These licensed teachers deserve to be given an item (position),” she said. (RJM, CDF)

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